DAVIS (CBS13) – Law enforcement officials defended the tactics used Friday to dismantle an encampment set up by “Occupy Wall Street” sympathizers on the UC Davis quad, a raid that drew accusations of excessive force from students after sitting protesters were subjected to pepper spray at point-blank range.

UC Davis Police officers in riot gear warned “Occupy UC Davis” demonstrators to pack up their tents and leave the field located between the Memorial Union and Shields Library at about 3:00 p.m., and then moved in to take down the protesters’ tents a half hour later.

University officials had warned students several times since Thursday that camping would not be allowed on the quad.

A growing crowd filled the field as officers hauled away tents and a number of protesters linked arms and sat down on the path in the middle of the field, defying orders to leave. Shortly before 4:00 p.m., an officer used a can of pepper spray to coat the sitting demonstrators in the chemical dispersant before officers began taking students into custody one by one.

The watching crowd began shouting chants of “Shame on you” and “Let them go,” while dozens of students recorded the encounter on cell phone cameras.

“I don’t think that was warranted,” one protester told CBS13. “It was non-violent protests, we were sitting, linking arms.”

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said officers used force out of concern for their own safety after they were surrounded by students.

“If you look at the video you are going to see that there were 200 people in that quad,” said Chief Spicuzza. “Hindsight is 20-20 and based on the situation we were sitting in, ultimately that was the decision that was made.”

Authorities are still reviewing video of the incident, Spicuzza added.

Officers left the quad after making 10 arrests, nine of which were UC Davis students. Law enforcement retreated out of the field in a direction that was not obstructed by sitting protesters.

Protesters vowed to remain in the quad and reestablish their camp Friday evening, but as of 10:00 p.m. Friday, no demonstrators or tents were visible in the area.

>> Send photos and videos to CBS13.

Comments (223)
  1. Jonus says:

    The cops have been out of control for a long time and the video just proves it. Peaceful demonstration and then pepper spray. That would in my opinion make it a not so peaceful demonstartion. I would say the cops were pretty lucky that they did not have a riot for there acts. I notice that you always have a bad apple and boy that cop who did the spraying looked like he should become a lion tamer because he sure should not be around human beings. That cop rotted the whole barrell. Thsi guy should be charged for inciting a riot. He is a waste of human flesh.

    1. realist says:

      The protesters whould have left. They were given a chance. They choose wrong. You may not like, but so what? I would have used two cans!!

      1. Scott says:

        They did use more than one can…one of the videos I saw showed that…

        What was accomplished by using the spray? they still had to pry the arms apart…the situation was not ever a threat to the police. The tents were already gone, the police could have made the same retreat they made after arresting 10 of the 50 or so people who were locking arms. There was no need for force.

      2. DaMav says:

        What was accomplished by using the spray???

        It sure brought a smile to a lot of us 99%ers 🙂 Yes indeed. And Scott, I’m in the 99% and these stinking hippies, anarchists, and Marxists don’t represent me or anyone else. They are lucky the police were so gentle with them.

      3. Allan B. says:

        realist, you fool,

        It is because of people who do not accept the status quo that you enjoy certain rights, privileges and freedoms. Many of them were and still are college students.

        Away, away to your cave!

  2. Sparky says:

    Sure drop out of college and become a red neck missing link person like 1%. What kind of idiot would make excuses for coward cops who use pepper spray on non violent students staging a non disruptive sit in?! You should be thankful for the students standing up for the 99% so go back to feeding your pit bull or cleaning up around your trailor.

  3. sassafrass says:

    1% your post is the most outrageously violent post I have ever read you need to get some anger counciling, to actually wish cops had used a bullet to the head of kids demonstrating which is their right, you on the other hand should be in a mentally disturbed facility. It is scary to think someone like you is running around lose.

  4. Sparky says:

    So doodle…You related to 1% poster above! Same lame attempt to excuse cops using pepper spray on non violent peaceful students. Oh thats right I forgot …they were afraid for their safety! Hers a thought. If the protest doesn’t present a public safety and is non disruptive just ignor it. Davis cops sould find better things to do with their time.

  5. mike says:

    Protesters got their civil rights, protesters got that horrible Vietnam war and the unfair unjust draft(that killed many young students) stopped. Thank God we have the right to protest, no one killed or raped anyone at UC Davis what a lame moronic comparison, sometimes laws need to be changed

  6. Jonus says:

    You are one sick excuse for a non human being. You your be commited immediatetly to the mental hospital. You are everything bad about a human being which probably makes you inhuman. What a piece of work.

  7. AK says:

    What an ugly scene. The Occupy people are whiny losers with nothing going for them in life, and cops are pigs. It’s a lose-lose article.

    1. Sparky says:

      Yeah, your right AK. No point in this story just students protesting college fees escalating out of reach for middle class families as they have been for several years. It’s a real comfort to know there are still people in tune with the world around them and the issues of the day!

  8. Free Stuff? LOL says:

    I agree with 1%. We, the taxpayers, are TIRED of OWS. Look at all the tax money being spent on police overtime. And what for? So some over-privileged kids can get their mugs on the news and cry how bad they are being mistreated by society, and how capitalism isn’t favoring them? And have you questioned that some of these protesters may have mental disturbances?

    OWS is RAPING the taxpayers. Taxpayers need to take notice. I know some of you have to agree that this movement needs to be shut down. Free speech has its limits, but the taxpayers shouldn’t be burdened with flipping the bill to pay for the continuing RAPING that OWS is having on our communities. Destroying our parks, and now our college campuses. And you OWS protesters have no one but to blame but yourselves. Don’t go on and blaming the police or corporate America for your problems. You need to look in the mirror and look at yourself first before you blame anyone else for your selfish problems.

    I say there should be a movement to OCCUPY OCCUPY WALL STREET, in which taxpayers go in and beat the hell out of these protesters in anger for wasting our community’s valuable resources and money. And I have to agree, these protesters need to be put into check.

    1. NoLove4Swine says:

      Hear that? That’s the sound made by Fascist Swine Elitists wanting THEIR park back. LOL! Aww, how they must they long to go back to the trough unopposed to rut around in the muck for bucks…

    2. RobK1967 says:

      Hitler would be proud of you

      1. Daniel says:

        Chimed in Mr. Chamberlan.

      2. RobK1967 says:

        Thank you for the compliment, at least I am not a thug or thug excuser 🙂

      3. Daniel says:

        5 million jews wouldn’t have viewed that as a compliment. I guess you agreed with Hitler then.

      4. RobK1967 says:

        You would guess wrong, but being a thus excuser it seems you are used to being wrong. Don’t you have some puppies to go beat?

    3. gna says:

      The whole point to non-violent social disobedience is to get your attention, if making the system work harder which cost money, gets your attention then the protest is successful , providing of course your trying to understand the reasoning.

      1. PG says:

        Social DISOBEDIENCE…….that’s the key word here. Doesn’t matter if it’s Non-violent or not. It’s breaking the law and it has it’s consequences. Just because it grabs attention doesn’t mean it’s successful. The wrong kind of attention is NOT success. It just makes the occupy movement look even more ridiculous. Bottom line, if you don’t like the tuition hikes, find another school or quit for a year or two and go to work to fund your education. It may not be what you WANT but it is more likely to be WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. No one in this country is ENTITLED to a “free” education beyond high school. One of the fastest ways to get a company or business or school to change it’s policies and practices is to STOP DOING BUSINESS WITH THEM. They can’t exist without customers. But trying to force others into bending to YOUR point of view through “civil” disobedience not only seldom works, but violates the rights of others and THEIR point of view. One person’s rights do not supersede another person’s rights .

      2. RobK1967 says:

        I do pity you, it must suck to live your pathetic life that you like seeing students attacked by thugs

      3. Will says:

        Well said!!!! Believe me, WE are in the majority! They are the ones that are pathetic! They are the 1%

    4. blake says:

      Please learn the facts before you comment. This has NOTHING to do with OWS. This protest was against tuition hikes and a protest against the police brutality at UC Berkeley.

      It’s people like you that are really dumbing our nation down. This cop probably knew as much about being a cop as you do about American rights and this protest.

  9. Cindy says:

    Officers don’t need to defend thier actions. The losers do. Get out and get a life. Do you even remember why you are protesting? Most people think you are idiots.

    1. NoLove4Swine says:

      Funny thing is Cindy, most people think you’re an idiot for being a conformist robot too, so we’ll call it even. Your the type like these other lovers of swine that would bust out with your little dainty lady jogger mace spray because you feel threatened by someone who disagrees with you. Probably. Sow.

  10. DaMav says:

    I fully support the actions of the police. Sick of this BS from these malcontents who think they can do whatever they want. I’m part of the 99% and I don’t need some bums or anarchists or Marxists claiming to speak for me. HAD ENUFF? Let the backlash begin!

    1. PigglyWiggly says:

      It’s cute that you have no idea what you are talking about. You hungry? Tired? Want your binky?

      Look at those ruffians sitting! I mean, I never sit. I stand all day. So I now cops would never do this to me.

  11. Free Stuff? LOL says:

    like they say…..

    “don’t hate the players, hate the game!!!”

    OWS is toast!! the taxpayers have had ENOUGH of their whiny, crybaby, socialist tactics and we REAL AMERICANS DEMAND AN END TO THEIR LIBERAL CHARADES. fine them all!! make them pay for their own mistakes, and for the overtime and any other restitution costs.

    it’s time to OCCUPY OWS!! sue the hell out of this organization on behalf of the taxpayers, since this corrupt organization has RAPED the taxpayers and violated the principles of law and order.

  12. Fred Leland says:

    Those English majors are wirey. Chief Spicuzza you need to be bounced out of office. This was done to intimidate and nothing more and wasn’t warranted no matter how you try to spin it. And if your armed force can’t physically remove demonstrators without pepper spray then someone needs to review the physical requirements for the force.

  13. Appalled says:

    Why are some of you so angry at these people? What are they doing to you? Do you go to UC Davis? Were they on your lawn? The amount of harm you want to cause other human beings for no other reason than they are voicing their opinion in a peaceful manner is appalling.

    So next time your kid doesn’t listen to his/her teacher in class can they go ahead and pepper spray them? Maybe smack them around? You’re all for that right?

    You think you are Americans? What a joke the lot of you are. I hope the day comes where you have a run in with a Pig and try to plead your case and he tazes you for no reason.

    Don’t bother with the stupid “I don’t do anything to warrant that happening to me bull.” Because if you keep letting this continue they won’t need a reason to do it. You simply disagreeing will be enough. This has nothing to do with either side of the protest. This has to do with being a human being.

    1. NoLove4Swine says:

      @Appalled: Agreed. The ‘some’ that you speak of, well, it’s because most of them haven’t got a frickin’ clue and they can’t be bothered to think for themselves. That is the reason behind it. They actually believe and foolishly expect to be able to take their freedom for granted, until the end of time. The writing isn’t on the wall for them, but it soon will be.

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